Season 1, Episode 6 “Beautiful Wickedness”
Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Directed by Tarsem Singh
[Header image courtesy of David Lukacs/NBC]
On last week’s episode, everyone came to Emerald City for one reason or another. Dorothy (Adria Arjona) was captured by Ojo (Olafu Darri Olafsson) and taken to West (Ana Ularu) in exchange for his wife’s freedom from the Prison of the Abject. Lucas (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) was brought to Eamonn’s (Mido Hamada) house to protect him. Tip (Jordan Loughran) now works for West, and Jack (Gerran Howell) is owned by Lady Ev (Stefanie Martini) who is there to attend the Festival of the Beast. We find out that Lucas may have actually been responsible for the death of several of the Wizard’s Guard in Nimbo and that Lady Ev blames the Wizard (Vincent D’Onofrio) for the death of her mother. The episode ended with the Wizard recognizing Dorothy and calling her by name. For my full recap and review, you can go here. This week’s is below!
Emerald City starts off with a flashback to Topeka, KS in 1996. This was pretty exciting to me as Topeka is only about an hour to my west! We get a lot of backstory in this episode, and I really love that. Starting off, we find out the Frank, a.k.a. the Wizard, worked as an assistant to Karen (Gina Bellman) and Jane (Gina McKee), who worked at a vortex research lab, which sounds like something we’d probably actually have here. I don’t like past Frank much. He acts unintelligent and cowardly, and we know the Wizard portrays neither of those things. It’s nice, though, that the show creates such dramatic arcs for its characters. The development and evolution of each one makes for such an interesting and amazing show. We do see that Frank goes behind the ladies’ backs and sabotages the computer system, so I think the act of unintelligence mostly stems from the lack of confidence. He also shows that he’s conniving, a trait which he carries with him into the present Wizard.
The Wizard is so multifaceted that it’s hard to pin down exactly how I feel about him. In some instances, I empathize with him, and in others I’m angry at his actions. When he talks to Dorothy about her mom, it’s one of those empathetic moments. D’Onofrio does such a great job of portraying so many different emotions and characters all in one person. He’s even confirmed that the Wizard uses different voices depending on who he’s talking to. As much as I love him when he’s “humanized,” though, he pretty quickly turns the tables. You can tell he has some hidden agenda when he asks for a bullet from Dorothy. It seems like a small request, but the Wizard doesn’t really do much that doesn’t mean something important to him or his cause.
We get another glimpse of a shirtless Lucas, because, why not? He’s being questioned by Eamonn, whom I really like as a character. He’s another person who has completely changed from the first time we were introduced to him. He started out seeming very cold-hearted and now we see him as a soft protector type for both Lucas and his own family. When Lucas tells him he (Lucas) deserves torture for what he’s done, Eamonn reassures him that he doesn’t, and that he’s not a bad person.
I’m a little concerned that Eamonn is the only guard to notice Dorothy was in the Wizard’s room. His security seems lax in his own home and vicious outside of it. Dorothy wastes no time in kissing Lucas as soon as she gets to see him again, which feels a little too excited and passionate considering they’ve only kissed once before and haven’t really developed a relationship past saving each other.
While Dorothy is telling Lucas to lie to the Wizard in order to be freed, West comes in to test the magic in his head and see whose it is. She’s obviously still a little mad at Dorothy for escaping, but since she’s a guest of the Wizard’s now, West can’t harm her. Of course, West’s dress is yet another gorgeous gown from the ever talented Trisha Biggar.
West goes to work laying out stones around the room, one for each cardinal witch, and then promptly blows some glittering dust in Lucas’s face. When he spits out what appears to be the signature of the magic in his head, West realizes it belongs to Glinda. As we saw in the previous episode, she’s already been putting together that Glinda has been lying to her and keeping secrets, so the fact that it’s her magic in Lucas’s mind just makes things worse.
The scene that a lot of us have been anticipating finally happened, as well! Tip and Jack accidentally reunite in one of the corridors of the Wizard’s mansion, and it’s an emotionally driven fight between them. Jack obviously still blames Tip for leaving him to die, and Tip admits he loves Jack, though doesn’t know in what way. It was such an intense scene because of the fact it’s charged with so many emotions. It hints at what could be in the future for a Jack and Tip relationship, but also shows how much change and healing would have to happen for that to work.
And of course Lady Ev interrupts by claiming Tip no longer owns this Jack as a friend. I’m still so intrigued by Lady Ev, and I think it’s because I still can’t get a feel for her character or her true motives. I feel like I don’t know anything about her, not just because of the masks, but because she reacts so differently in so many different scenes. In one moment, she’s scolding the Wizard for letting her city drown, in another she’s kissing Jack for winning a fight, and in a third she’s helping her father find his long dead dog. She’s multifaceted like the Wizard, but not in the same way, as I haven’t been able to tell what her main trait actually is.
While West is telling Lucas and Dorothy that the only way to get to Lucas’s memories is through a backdoor around the cardinal magic, the Wizard is showing Lady Ev the bullet he got from Dorothy and asking her to use her city to make it for him. When she asks for the gun, you can tell the Wizard’s negotiations with Dorothy aren’t over yet.
By far the most interesting scene of this episode was when West gets Lucas’s memories out. Not only do he, West, and Dorothy get bathed in milk, we also get backstory on Lucas, which I’ve been eager for since we met him. It also draws some connections between him and another mysterious character, Sylvie (Rebeka Rea), as well as the magic tunnel in Nimbo. We find out he was transporting young witches, including Sylvie, to Nimbo so they could use the tunnel and go straight to Glinda. When he gets caught, he kills the guards and tells the girls to run before drinking a potion that apparently puts the block in his mind.
It was such an interesting scene! I loved the first-person camera view, as well. It really added to the drama and intensity of the situation. And I just love backstory anyways, so it was awesome to me!
After the scene, West realizes that mother South is still alive and that Glinda is using the secret new witches to create a revolt against the Wizard. The Wizard realizes that all of the council women are Glinda’s girls, including Anna, and that they’ve been there spying on him the whole time. I had such high hopes for the Wizard and Anna, so I was really sad to see their relationship fall apart in this episode.
Part of this theory is confirmed when Elizabeth (Roxy Sternberg) helps Lucas escape under Glinda’s orders. And Dorothy comes to a tough decision that she has to make: science or magic. Even after this episode, I’m still not 100% sure what Dorothy will decide, as the story takes so many twists and turns.
When Lucas goes off to get to his wagon so he can leave the city, Dorothy goes out to find Sylvie, who was left alone in the city after Lucas surrendered. Eamonn catches Dorothy at the bottom of the stairs and offers to take her to Sylvie, whom, it turns out, he was hiding at his house along with Toto. Eamonn really does keep growing on me as a character; though to be fair, the Wizard had sent him out to find Sylvie earlier, so he may have only had her because of the Wizard’s order.
Even after all of that, though, Dorothy leaves Sylvie alone with Toto again so she can go get help. It just doesn’t make any sense to me that a character so stuck on taking Sylvie back to a village and not abandoning her would leave her in a dangerous city that would probably kill her if they found her.
Either way, Dorothy asks the Wizard for help, and that’s when we get an answer to the burning question: is the Wizard Dorothy’s dad? The answer is no. The scientist Frank accidentally killed when he sabotaged the computer at the vortex lab was Dorothy’s dad. Dorothy was born in Oz in Ojo’s tribe. That’s why the tornado that Dorothy jumped into at East’s castle took her to the snowy tribe lands. That’s where she was born, and that’s her home!
Kind Ev (David Calder), who is still looking for his poor, deceased dog, happens upon Toto. Because Toto barks at him in alarm, it sets Sylvie off, which ends up turning King Ev into stone. Of course, Lady Ev still blames the Wizard for her mother’s death, and now that her father died at the Wizard’s own mansion, she is not very happy.
Lucas ends up finding Dorothy again after she’s struck up a deal with the Wizard, and he loads her into the wagon with Sylvie and Toto. Lucas also refuses to leave when Elizabeth says Dorothy can’t go, so of course, she lets them leave together. The Wizard sees Anna talking with Elizabeth, so he thinks they’re both spies. It turns out, though, that Anna didn’t know much about what was going on, as she was surprised she wasn’t actually there to help the Wizard.
Dorothy is apparently supposed to use Sylvie against Glinda when they arrive up North, but I’m not so sure she’s fully decided what she’s going to do. She loves Lucas, and he seems to be on Glinda’s side. She wants to protect Sylvie, who is a witch and thus an enemy of the Wizard. And Frank killed her father.
To continue with the backstory on Frank and his character, we jump back to Ojo’s tribe where he’s showing the kids how to make electricity. Ojo’s wife, Nahara (Mia Mountain) ends up performing magic and you can tell that’s the exact moment when Frank decided to wage war against it. Nahara is one of the witches in the Prison of the Abject from back in episode 2, so Frank obviously holds some of his own personal vendettas, as well.
Perhaps more shocking than when Tip pushed Jack off the balcony, the Wizard ends up shooting Anna! This seems to be for a multitude of reasons: Lady Ev declared war against the Wizard for her father’s death, he has no control over the giants and is getting desperate for a weapon to use against the Beast, he wanted to show how powerful a gun can be to Lady Ev, and, most importantly, he thought Anna was simply there as a spy for Glinda and was toying with his emotions to get information from him. I really don’t believe Anna was there under false pretenses, specifically because of her conversation with Elizabeth and the way she’s acted overall throughout the series.
I still have so much to look forward to and so many answers to get from this show! Which side will Dorothy choose: science or magic? And is Anna going to die? Comment below to let me know what you think!
Emerald City airs on Fridays at 9/8c on NBC. You can catch up on all the episodes on the NBC app or site. And don’t forget to come back each week for another recap and review!